In an effort to bridge the country’ skills gap, the Ministry of Defence with the help from other government institutions is planning to turn a former military school in Huye district into a vocational college.
The Ministry is working hand in hand with the National Police, Ministry of Education and Workforce Development Authority to transform Ecole des Sous-Officiers (ESO) into a polytechnic college that will train Soldiers, Police personal and civilians.
Among technical courses to be offered by the institute include mechanical engineering, automobile repairs, woodwork and joinery, fashion designing and tailoring.
Other courses will include; plumbing, concrete and masonry, wiring and electrification and welding.
Upon completion of the courses students will be awarded with diplomas and certificates.
Speaking to The New Times, Army and Defence spokesman Maj. Jill Rutaremara revealed that the ministry intends to transform ESO into a mid-level technical institute.
“There are skills that are badly needed and yet the place (ESO) is big and there is infrastructure,” Rutaremara said. “The project belongs to the ministry of defense but we sold it to others because it won’t only teach soldiers.”
Rutaremara said that the project involves two stages – the current two-month old planning phase and the implementation phase which will follow later.
The planning phase is scheduled to take 10 months and works on refurbishing the ESO compound began last, albeit with some horrific discoveries.
In September and December, last year, workers at the complex unearthed remains believed to be of victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
All the bones were uncovered from shallow graves in the large compound.
In a plan to eliminate Tutsi intellectuals in 1994, soldiers from ESO and Interahamwe militia reportedly went to the University of Rwanda in Butare and other areas with explicit orders to kill Tutsi teaching staff and students.